King Willem-Alexander and queen Maxima have issued a two-minute video in which they speak of their regrets about going on holiday to Greece last week.
The king, Maxima and their youngest daughter returned home from their Greek holiday home after less than a day following a public outcry in the Netherlands about the trip. The two older girls returned on Tuesday evening.
‘It hurts to have betrayed your trust in us,’ the king said. ‘Even though the trip was in line with the regulations, it was very unwise not to take into account the impact of the new restrictions on our society.’
The royals’ holiday home is in a code yellow zone but last week prime minister Mark Rutte had urged everyone to minimise travelling, as part of a new package of measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
The king did not mention the decision to allow the two older girls to return home several days later. According to the state information service RVD, there were no seats left of the plane to bring them back on Saturday with the rest of the family.
‘From the start of the coronavirus crisis, we have done our best… to be there as much as possible for everyone who is looking for support in uncertain times,’ the king said.
‘It is a difficult time for everyone…we have heard the poignant stories in many meetings with you, in person and digitally. We feel connected with you and with all those people who have been directly or indirectly affected.’
The message, recorded at the family home in The Hague, concluded with the king stating: ‘We are part of this. But we are not infallible.’
Prime minister Mark Rutte earlier accepted full responsibility for the trip, saying he had made an error of judgement.